I Did Not Like Civil War

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 12:45 am
amarie24: (Angry Tiana)
[personal profile] amarie24
To clarify, I'm talking the movie, Captain America: Civil War.

I do not like it at all.

...At least they pretty much did my baby, T'Challa, right.

Still...ugh. Fuck MCU!Tony Stark. Fuck RDJ. Fuck this movie.

Edit: Yeah, this one, too:

--Amarie

Date: 2016-05-20 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chris_the_cynic
Preview of the posts I'm going to be writing about it, note that it won't be one post per point below

1 The movie we were promised at the end of the previous Captain America was Steve and Sam on a road trip to find Bucky with possible help from Natasha. This is especially sensible because Sam's job and vocation is helping soldiers who have had traumatic experiences which Bucky very much is. Where the fuck is that movie?

2 The final fight of this movie, which the villain's entire plan leads up to, hinges on Tony being an asshole, but that doesn't mean that Tony needed to have a huge role in the movie. He could have spent the movie following newly surfaced clues on his parents murder. Cut to him for like a minute at most as he gets one step closer and then, at the very end, his quest leads him to the same spot as Steve and Bucky.

3 This was two movies (which is an improvement over the last Captain America movie when they tried to cram in like nine) and neither of them was really a Captain America movie. The Avengers splitting up over the Fictional Country Accords is clearly an Avengers movie. Bucky being framed bringing the two sides of the split into conflict is actually the backdrop for a Black Panther movie in which T'Challa grows as a character and he first steps foot outside of Wakanda as the Black Panther.

4 Apparently only villains care about natives. Tony ends up thinking they need oversight because of an American in Sokovia, the oversight actually becomes a thing because of Wakandans in Nigeria. No one on the good side gave a crap about the Sokovians or the Nigerians. That seems to be the message.

5 This should have been morally complex. The leader of the accord side --who should have been Maria Hill, not Tony-- should have made the argument that cops without oversight are dangerous and scary things and justice requires people who can keep the enforcers in line. This is true and important because, for fuck's sake, the cops are out of control and the Avengers are cops on a grand scale. Steve should have made the "Yeah, but.." argument which he kind of did with "They could order us to do bad things" (see Captain America II in which the "good" guys and the bad guys both agree that a giant surveillance and assassination system is wonderful, but disagree on who should pick the targets) and "They could order us not to do good things" which, if they'd waited to get an "Ok" for Sokovia the first time then the [worse Nazis than the Nazis] would rule the world and if they'd waited the second time then the human race would be extinct.

In either case having to go through a normal chain of command would have ended life as we know it and possibly life in general. That's what superhero movies are about for fuck's sake. If the police were up to the task then Peter Parker could focus on his school work. If the regular allies were up to the task then Captain America wouldn't have been needed. Super-villains exist because without them superheroes would be dangerous vigilantes but with them they're necessary. They become even more necessary when the powers that be aren't outmatched but instead actively evil.

And on that note:

6 Doctor Doom. Marvel doesn't have the movie rights to The Fantastic Four so they can't use Doctor Doom in spite of him being their character, but things would have worked so much better if Steve could have just said, "Latveria." pause because that should be enough. Continuation for those who don't understand, "They'll never approve us intervening, but if we don't then Doctor Doom will be unstoppable before he sets foot into our jurisdiction." Or, failing that:

7 "117 countries." How many of those countries have committed genocide? How many of them have stood by and let genocide happen? There's Steve's "Order us to do bad things; order us not to do good things," argument. Hell, Steve may be Captain America, but his wartime service could have caused him to come into direct contact with the 442nd Infantry Regiment who might have mentioned what the US was doing to their families back home (and had been doing to them before they were allowed to join up.)

8 Bucky wasn't just framed; he was framed really badly. The Winter Solider doesn't blow shit up. He shoots people, he chokes people, he fights people one on one, but a car bomb? No. Before the previous Captain America movie no one, save Natasha, seriously believed he existed and that's simply not possible if he's the sort to do things as open as blowing up a UN summit.

Everyone should have known he was innocent with the possible exception of T'Challa who had very good reason to have less than perfect judgement right then.

In fact, the movie works best if the villain and the Accords side are working together. How did someone who's son was in the empty building Tony collapsed in Sakovia get alone time with Tony to tell Tony about her son when there's an entire crowd of people who know more about the building who would like to see him just as much? Why push the story that an enhanced human (Bucky) is responsible when the evidence is crap?

Because both the people behind the accords and the nominal villain want to bring down the Avengers. Ross wants them imprisoned (chasing down exceptional individuals is kind of his thing), Zemo wants them dead, but the early stages of both goals are identical and it's probable that neither side talked about their endgame.

9 Can I go on about how morally unbalanced this is?

Tony: I've come to realize that I can't be trusted not to do X, therefore there should be a law against X. All who oppose me in this endeavor are moral degenerates. If you'll excuse me I have to make sure that Vision knows Wanda is my slave, not my guest, and then I'm going to recruit a child soldier by threatening to out him to his mother-figure. This will involve me repeatedly pulling what he wants kept in the closet out of the closet so that there's no way you can miss the overtones.

Vision: I make sure Mr. Stark's slaves don't leave the property unless he allows them to. I see no moral problem with this.

Rhodey: I'm just following orders. (He's clearly the moral heart of the team since ... yeah.)

Natasha: I actually came out and said that I don't want to be on this side. The only reason I'm here is because "Team Evil" needs a token female character.

Peter: Look, I don't want to know who's right and who's wrong. I'm being blackmailed by a creepy guy who seems to want to have sex with the woman who raised me. I actually gave a speech in which I said that morally I agree with everything the other side stands for.

T'Challa: I'm here to murder someone, but don't worry, this is my pseudo-origin story so I'll learn to be a better person by the end of it and not murder the person who killed my father. My initial position on the Accords is that they should apply to others but as soon as I've got a vendetta, screw everything they say. That said, remember that I grow and change unlike the other people on this team.

While on the other side we have:
Steve: This will seriously harm our ability to do good things and YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL AN INNOCENT MAN. Also, no lawyer? What happened to due process?

Sam: I'm with Steve on this, every part of what he just said.

Wanda: I'm a human being, not an object. I saw Fury Road, damn it.

Clint: Wanda's a human being, not an object.

Scott: Is there any coffee? What day is it?

Not saying that Cap's team is composed of angels, but there's a clear right side here. Not the least of which because this whole thing is being overseen by...

10 "Ross" is a name that we might associate with, "Why the fuck isn't she in this movie?" but in the case of Civil War it's the other Ross. Her dad. The villain. Bruce/Hulk's villain. A movie about Ross interring enhanced people ought to be Bruce/Hulk's movie.

11 You know why this fucked up movie exists? After Iron Man III, a movie with so many good bits that it made the crap the movie was primarily composed of hurt even more than if it had just been only bad, RDJ wasn't contracted to do anything else but the remaining Avengers story (which will be split in half) and the people running the MCU wanted him in another movie because he draws bigger numbers in the US. Not that his movies make more money overall, it's just in the US where there's a notable difference.

So they wrote a movie that would so depend upon Tony and Iron Man that they could go to RDJ and say, "We've got this movie that we want to make --script's done, we're scouting locations-- but it will only work if you're in it. *puppy dog pout* Please?

They weren't even trying to make a good movie. They were trying to create a thing that required RDJ.

12 Tony's position basically boils down to: Hey, you know what? I've realized that I've been wrong all these years. But now that I've realized it I'm right and you're wrong. Everyone still has to do what I say.

He's the guy who always thinks he's right. Every time he realizes he was wrong before then ... hey, that just makes him even more right now because he's righter than he was back then.

13 You put Bucky, a traumatized soldier, and Sam, someone who works with traumatized solider, together and didn't make any use of that?
You put Bucky, someone who had is his mind fucked with, on the same side as Wanda, someone who can do impossible things with minds, and didn't have her at least try to help?

14 Vision can pick up the hammer of Thor because he's totally worthy, but he doesn't see the problem with "It's fine for you to leave to do work for us, but you're not actually a free person. You're our captive here. Deal with it"?

15 There are three black superheroes in this movie. They're all male.

In fact, Given that Wanda's been whitewashed ... is it impossible for to be a minority and a female in the hero biz?

---

Proposed better way:

Captain America 2 had a different name because Bucky was barely in that movie and the movie wouldn't have changed much if you took him out.

Third CA movie is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Steve and Sam go out to find Bucky.

In Avengers: Civil War, the team fractures over the question of the Sokovia accords. Steve leads one faction, Hill leads the other. While they fight the movie ends with all of them teaming up to free the captured members of the Steve-side from Ross' secret prison where the inmates have no rights because whatever your position on superhero oversight, prisons with no human rights are bullshit.

The Black Panther -- T'Challa gets drawn into the middle of this fucked up feud when Bucky is framed for murdering his father. The movie has the two sides of the Avengers fighting each other again because of the flashpoint that is Bucky, but that's the backdrop for T'Challa's story.

Future movies: X years ago a super hero team was sent to prison for a crime they didn't commit. These people promptly escaped from maximum security prison. Today, still wanted by the government, they ... yeah, I'm not going to be able to work in the entire the A-Team opening monologue, but it seemed to fit.

Important point is this: future movies follow Captain America, Falcon, Black Widow (because she ought to be on that side), the Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Antman (individually, and in groups) as outlaw heroes.

They do crime for great justice.

-

Probably wrote too much already.
Edited Date: 2016-05-20 07:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-05-23 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chris_the_cynic
I have almost no time right now, but I'll respond to at least one thing, its kind of easy since I just have to search for the last time I mentioned it in passing:

3. Ehhh? You felt Captain America: The Winter Soldier tried to cram in about nine movies? I actually love CATWS and I’m deeply curious about your interpretation of that. Would you care to elaborate? :O

You could take Bucky out of the movie with his name on it without changing much of anything that happens in the movie. On the other hand, his return should be enough to be a movie in itself. So that's one movie right there. The one the title promises but doesn't really deliver:

The Winter Solider shows up, everyone thinks Steve and Natasha are loopy for believing this and thus doesn't provide them with aid, and entire movie just about dealing with brainwashed Bucky.

Shield (not just the Hydra infiltrators) had gone way too far. Their evil plot needed to be stopped. Putting Hydra into the equation is a complication that a movie isn't long enough to deal with. Just have the horrible project (was it called "Project Insight" or something?) and our heroes rebelling to stop it.

Two movies.

An attempted coup against Nick Fury, which would make sense in the wake of the previous, could be a movie in itself. More has been made with less. And it would be interesting because the coupsters wouldn't be wrong that Fury had fucked up, but a violent coup usually isn't the way to go about it.

Hydra still existing, if they were going to run with that, should have been centered as something to deal with as opposed to, "We have to stop this horrible thing, and Robert Redford works for Hydra but why should we care since the non-Hydra people approved of this plan too?" So focus on that and we're at, I think, four now.

Zola's preserved consciousness was there for an exposition dump when it honestly deserves more and different. In the comics I don't know, but in the MCU Zola was, at best, disinterested in Hydra. He just wanted a place where he could conduct reality-bending science-advancing experiments, perhaps in ways that violated all human rights.

If you're going to have him then he should be the main villain of a non-Hydra plot that involves pushing the boundaries of science-magic and trampling the boundaries of ethics with the heroes unable to locate the villain behind everything for most of the movie because he's a net-ghost.

Next, the Hydra "algorithm" was Big Brother in the internet age an honestly probably deserved an entire multiple season TV series where people are fighting against, basically, the internet personified that happens to hold to Nazi ideals. Think Ultron without the the idiot ball, emotional instability, or desire to have a body.

This is separate from a Hydra movie itself because the "algorithm" presents a wholly different threat than human infiltrators.

Shield at war with itself apart from and beside the revelation of Hydra still existing (which is as much political as face punching) could have carried an entire series of movies. It got, basically, one scene in a control room.

And, no, that doesn't add up to nine. I just sort of picked a number because I knew it was more than two and figured it was less then ten.

Also, also ... we could have had a movie that was Steve and Natasha working for Shield before everything went to shit. Of that we got... inrto mission on a boat.

Date: 2016-05-24 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chris_the_cynic
I've been meaning to do it for ages, but mentioning it here is what finally got me to do it. I've made a post where I described what it would look like to give the various plots in CA:WS the attention and time they deserved.

I did this a bit with Age of Ultron in mind which helped get it up to nine actual movies, but most of it is just what's in CA:WS. Nine movies and one TV series is where I ended up .

Date: 2016-05-26 10:40 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chris_the_cynic
I will say that for myself, personally? I very, very, very much always preferred the General Ross from the 2003 Hulk movie, with Eric Bana and Jennifer Connelly. I haven’t re-watched it in a good minute, but I felt that that version of General Ross actually, truly, deeply loved and cared for his daughter.

[snip]

I re-watched the 2008 reboot a few weeks ago and still to this day, I can’t sense that Ross truly loves his daughter or at least, truly wants to rekindle some kind of relationship with her where she understands and trusts him. It’s disgusting.

Do you have any thoughts on that?


While I --and this is 100% true-- cannot think of a single film he's in that I really like (2003 Hulk may be closest), I definitely love Sam Eliot's acting. His portrayal of General Ross in "Hulk" has got to be the most sympathetic I've seen the character and I totally agree that that Ross loved and cared for his daughter.

He had problems --not the least of which being that he couldn't look at Bruce without seeing his father and that intensely screwed up his judgement (in ways that meshed with an reinforced some bad parenting wrt Betty)-- but he generally came off as someone who was trying to deal with the situation as well as he could, rather than trying to exploit it, and a loving father.

Then in the next movie we get Betty's fiance pointing out, rightly, that (new) General Ross is a monster who doesn't care about his own daughter while the giant green thing seems intent on keeping her safe at great risk to itself. Kind of stinks that we lost the complex General Ross who actually had something where his heart should be, but I totally liked Betty's choice of fiance.

Liked her choice personality-wise, at least. We didn't really need another white dude. If it turned out in a later movie that fiance was actually a black woman who had shape-shifted into the form of a white dude or something for a while but was done with that and will be played by a black woman forever more I'd be completely fine with that. Of course that would require Betty to show up again, and they seem intent on forgetting about her.

Date: 2016-05-28 02:38 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chris_the_cynic
I like unicorns. Always have.

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